Mar. 14, 2016

A Faster Track to Lupus Treatments and Cures

Stephen I. Katz, MD, PhD, Director of the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, discusses the new NIH Action Plan for Lupus Research.   The plan provides a blueprint for research on lupus and describes the opportunities for investigators and for training.

Recently, the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, part of the National Institutes of Health, released a new Action Plan for Lupus Research (PDF) to guide lupus research efforts.

Watch as Kim Cantor, VP of Government Relations and Medical-Scientific Advisory Council member Dr. Karen Costenbader illustrate the urgent need for exploring opportunities to increase scientific understanding of lupus, which will ultimately lead to safer and more effective treatments and, eventually, curative strategies.

The Action Plan, as well as the recently released National Public Health Agenda for Lupus, will help guide the lupus community in its efforts to reduce the time to diagnosis, develop programs and services that will benefit people with lupus, their caregivers and health care providers, and develop new treatments and clinical trial models.

A number of key themes and focus areas in lupus research came from recommendations submitted by our Medical-Scientific Advisory Council, including an emphasis on partnerships in epidemiology, highlighted in chapter one; validating lupus biomarkers – proteins, genes, and other markers found in the body that are useful for diagnosing the disease, measuring its activity, or measuring the effects of treatment – highlighted in chapter three; and health disparities, highlighted in chapter six.

Shirley Aviles is just one example of how federal medical research has helped advance the science and medicine of lupus. She had a stem cell transplant at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in 2006 to treat lupus.  In this video she relates her experiences at the NIH and offers her hopes for the future of lupus research and helping find cures for the disease.

Join us in urging Congress to increase federal funding for the NIH, which is essential for meeting the goals identified in this report. 

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